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Titleist had their work cut out for them improving on the exceptional quality of the extremely popular Titleist 915 driver. They understood this and spent a considerable amount of time fine-tuning and perfecting the technology they have built into the 917, particularly with the SureFit CG moveable sole weight. The results, as we will see in this Titleist 917 driver review, are spectacular. Continue reading to explore the features in detail.
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A High-Tech Driver
The Titleist 917 is one of the most technologically advanced and sophisticated drivers on the market. Take a bit of time to get to know how the many adjustable features can work for you and you will find it gives you great accuracy, very good distance, and the ability to do pretty much whatever you want to do with your shot.
It will enhance your swing strengths and allow you to work around any weaknesses or recurring problems you might experience, provided you get the weighting and adjustments correct.
It is more forgiving than its predecessor, the 915. We will get into the technology in more detail shortly but between the enhanced Active Recoil Channel and the innovative SureFit CG design, amongst the many other features, you can expect consistent great drives.
The two main commercial options are the 460cc D2 and 440cc D3. While similar in appearance the D3 obviously has a smaller and more traditional looking pear shaped head. The D2 has 8.5, 9.5, 10.5, and 12 degree options while the D3 offers a choice of 8.5, 9.5, and 10.5. The D2 will obviously give you a better launch and ultimate forgiveness while the D3 will allow for more shot-shaping capabilities.
There is plenty of face flex on impact thanks to the Active Recoil Channel 2.0 (ARC) positioned just behind the face. This technology not only increases ball speeds by creating a trampoline effect, catapulting the ball off the face, but also improves forgiveness over a large area of the face.
You will feel this forgiveness particularly when you strike the ball off the top of bottom of the face. Titleist has also tweaked the face thickness in places to reduce spin, adding a few additional yards to your drive.
Radial Speed Face
The ARC works in tandem with the Radial Speed Face 2.0 to also give you greater ball speed especially when the ball is not struck dead center. The center of the face is thicker and gets thinner towards the edges. Here you will appreciate this feature when the ball is stuck on the toe or heel. The entire head has been designed to maximize the moment of inertia (MOI) for extreme forgiveness. This is obviously more noticeable with the D2.
The design also leads to a lower, more consistent spin which further adds to the accuracy and distance potential of the driver.
SureFit CG Moveable Sole Weight
Years of research and development went into perfecting the SureFit CG moveable sole weight. While the concept is nothing new, the way it is put together on the 917 is revolutionary. It is always a tough compromise to get significant movable weights without sacrificing weight that is also needed elsewhere on the head. Ultimately you want to save weight on the crown to have more of it back and low in the sole for optimum CG.
The SureFit CG sole weight consists of semi-concealed steel or tungsten cylinders providing a range of moveable weights from 8g to 16g (in 2g increments). This design saved them considerably in terms of weight compared to the traditional mechanism, allowing them more freedom with discretionary weight. It might sound slightly complicated but it is surprisingly easy to operate and simple to check your weighting choice.
It is clear that they did their homework well with the SureFit CG and it is complimented by the SureFit Tour adjustable hosel which has already proved its worth. That will allow you to adjust the lie and loft independently by +/- 1.5°.
Bottom line is, it is all-round adjustability that works and you will feel it and see it in your driving. You need to experiment and establish what works best for your swing style and speed as well as your weaknesses while also taking your objectives or the conditions on the day into account.
The options and choices do not end with the head and the many adjustable mechanisms. There is a range of shafts to choose from, further allowing you to get the perfect driver and setup possible.
The three options are the low-mid launch, Aldila Rogue M*AX 65 or Fujikura Speeder Pro TS 74, the mid launch Mitsubishi Diamana Limited S+ Blue 60 or the high launch Mitsubishi Diamana Limited M+ Red 50.
While the head shape and profile is the traditional classic pear shape, smooth look Titleist has used in the past, the most dramatic change is the crown coloring. Again, after much discussion with the pros as well as the golfing public, Titleist has opted for a dark gray look in a gloss finish, replacing the black they used on previous models.
The opinion is fairly unanimous, which is rare these days; it is a classy, impressive looking driver. The technology, although discreet, also adds an air of sophistication to the driver.
Sound and Feel
Titleist clearly took note of previous comments regarding the sound of their drivers and while many found previous incarnations to be a bit tinny or high pitched, the 917 can only be described as more solid and powerful sounding with a much fuller, deeper sound on impact.
After speaking to tour professionals as well as regular golfers, they spent a lot of time and energy improving the harmonics and it shows; it has a pleasing, authoritative sound that is pleasing to hear.
Players were happy with the feedback the driver delivers and were able to pinpoint where they had struck the ball if not dead center.
Titleist has taken their already great technology, enhanced and improved it and put it together remarkably well. The end result is a driver that not only hits far and straight, with a high degree of forgiveness, but one that you can dial in to improve, fine-tune, or perfect literally any aspect of your swing.
It is not a driver that you can pick off the shelf and hit the course with. You either need to consult a professional fitter or spend a considerable amount of time understanding and experimenting with the many options to establish what combination of settings will improve your drive and make the rather significant investment worthwhile.
The good news is, it will make a considerable, noticeable difference to your drive and will be a pleasure to play with. The considerable sophistication of the technology and design will significantly improve your driving results but only if you get the settings and choices aligned with your swing requirements.
There is little doubt that the Titleist 917 is one of the finest drivers ever made. It has the potential to let you hit further and straighter than ever before. If you are serious about improving your driving and wish to invest in the 917, make sure you get your settings and adjustments right otherwise, you will be wasting your time and may as well go for a more basic driver with fewer options. There are very few players that will not appreciate and benefit from the Titleist 917.